Dear Neighbor,
This was a challenging year. A budget deficit led to the state cutting services and people losing their jobs. For the first time in years, I opposed the final state budget.

Despite challenges, I worked hard for the residents of Middletown and I am pleased that we were able to protect funding for our schools, find housing for Middletown veterans facing homelessness, help families save for retirement and expand Middletown’s summer youth employment program.

In addition, I am working to make Connecticut a national leader in the fight against student debt and against foreclosures. The most important work I do every year is on behalf of Middletown residents. So please give me a call or send me a letter or email if I can help you in any way.
I am proud to work for you.

Expanding Youth Employment

This February, I received a $40,000 state grant to expand the Middletown Youth Employment Program, a workforce development initiative that places local young adults into a wide variety of professional fields. This significant state funding allowed the Chamber of Commerce to expand the successful program from summertime  employment to year-round employment. Youth enrolled in the program are added to the Chamber’s payroll and are paid minimum wage. The program gives young people the opportunity to learn valuable skills while earning money.

Protecting Connecticut's Consumers

As Chair of the Banking Committee, I’m taking on big banks to help consumers, homeowners and small businesses.

New laws I authored this year:

  • Crack down on car dealers charging higher prices to women and people of color.
  • Strengthen Connecticut’s Student Loan Bill of Rights.
  • Create a first-in-the-nation program to help underwater homeowners avoid foreclosure.
  • Protect consumers from aggressive and unscrupulous debt collectors.
  • Help small and mid-sized businesses export products overseas. (PA 16-65)

Standing With Women And Families

We passed a law cracking down on human trafficking and a new law that protects victims of domestic violence by requiring that people subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) temporarily surrender their firearms. (PA 16-34, PA 16-71)

Middletown Delivers Fed-Ex Ground

Our region continues to attract jobs. After competing for bids with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Middletown is  welcoming Fed Ex Ground to the former Aetna property on Middle Street. The arrival of Fed Ex, with the support of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, will bring hundreds of new full- and part-time jobs to Middletown. Completion of the company’s new 525,000 square foot facility is expected in the Fall of 2018.

Retirement Security Program

Too many Connecticut residents have nothing saved for retirement. This year, we passed legislation establishing the Connecticut Retirement Security Program. This program will set up Roth IRAs for many private sector employees. (PA 16-29)

Removing Traffic Lights On Route 9

I am working with state and local leaders on a bold proposal to redesign Route 9 in Middletown over the next few years. I have told Governor Malloy that it is essential that we get full community input before the project moves forward.

Honoring Our Veterans

There is nothing more important than serving those who served our country. This year, I was able to introduce and pass legislation allowing the Shepherd Home in Middletown to be used to house veterans who would otherwise be homeless. The building will have 30 units of housing and was previously used as a transitional shelter. (Special Session PA 16-1)

I also worked with area veterans to pass legislation naming a bridge on Route 9 in honor of Middletown native Major General Maurice Rose. Rose is remembered as one of the nation’s most effective military leaders and one of the highest ranking American officers to die in combat in World War II. This bridge is a prominent place to honor Rose as we welcome visitors to Middletown’s riverfront.

Supporting Kids In Early Childhood

One of the smartest investments we can make is serving kids in early childhood. In May, I had the pleasure of reading to children at the Community Renewal Team’s Child Day Care Center in Middletown. I also worked to protect funding for Even Start, where parents can earn a GED or high school diploma while their children participate in an early learning curriculum.

Protecting Our Animals

This year, we sent a message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Connecticut. We passed legislation that makes malicious and intentional animal cruelty a class C felony, which carries the potential of jail time or a fine of up to $10,000. The legislature also approved a law that aims to increase animal cruelty conviction rates by allowing judges to appoint volunteer legal advocates to assist prosecutors in animal cruelty cases. [PA 16-30 Effective Date: 10/1/2016]

Capitol Update 2016 (pdf)